20 years of energy pain for Europe
High gas and electricity prices will continue to plague Europe for at least 20 years, damaging the competitiveness of industries that employ almost 30m people, the world’s leading energy forecaster has warned. In findings likely to inflame claims EU climate change policies are damaging the bloc’s manufacturers, the International Energy Agency said Europe will lose a third of its global market share of energy-intensive exports over the next two decades because energy prices will stay stubbornly higher than those in the US. A number of EU countries have embraced green energy subsidies, shunned nuclear and resisted shale exploration.
Fiat Chrysler breaks with Italy
Fiat Chrysler will list in New York and drop the Fiat name from its new logo as the newly-combined carmaker pushes ahead with a politically sensitive decision to shift away from Italy. The two carmakers will be rechristened under a holding company incorporated in the Netherlands known as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
Boss-napped French managers out
Disgruntled workers at a regional French media group kidnapped two senior managers on Tuesday in the latest sign of a return of the “boss-napping” phenomenon that plagued the country following the financial crisis. Workers at the Centre France/La Montagne media group released the chief executive and the human resources head after holding them for 18 hours.
Overseas money flows to Germany
Foreign investment flowing into Germany soared by almost 400 per cent last year as Europe’s largest economy made a dramatic recovery from a poor 2012, figures from the United Nations show. Germany returned to the top 20 nations for attracting inward investment.
Whitehall to close on Microsoft Office
Microsoft is set to lose British government contracts worth tens of millions of pounds after ministers announced plans to drop expensive software in favour of free or cheaper rivals, such as Google’s Docs system. Official figures suggest that the public sector has spent £200 million on Microsoft’s Office in the past 3 years
The Daily Telegraph
Untaxed work a quarter of Spain GDP
Untaxed transactions in Spain have surged to equal nearly a quarter of the country's output as unemployed workers scrape a living in the black economy.The cash economy has flourished since 2008, when the collapse of a building boom hurled Spain into a double recession, a report by Treasury experts and academics said.
Taxman claws back child benefit
Some parents who repay last year's child benefit by the 31 January deadline are being automatically entered into a process that deducts money owed for this year in the remaining two months of this tax year - for instance £2,449 for a three-child family.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Maersk to ship flowers for growth
A unit of Maersk is developing huge, refrigerated boxes for ships in hopes of tapping the $14bn (£8.46bn) market in transporting cut flowers. Maersk Container Industry will outfit refrigerated cargo containers with a system that eliminates mold, fungi and bacteria.
Natural gas soars to four year high
Natural gas prices rocketed more than 10% on concerns that sustained frigid weather would lead to robust demand for the heating fuel. Natural gas for February delivery jumped to $5.557 (£3.35) per million thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest closing price since Jan. 25, 2010.